2011 MLB Spring Training Baseball omnibus thread

So what’s going on around the leagues? Give a team report, ask question, etc.

Yankees: Didn’t land Lee, Pettitte retired and AJ is still expected to be our #3. So Yanks are short a starter or two. I really like Ivan Nova and think he can do a sufficient job as the 4. Freddie Garcia is a solid pickup for 5. Colon is actually looking good early and will make the fight for the last two spots interesting. Mitre has little chance and the kids, especially Manny Banuelos, Andrew Brackman, and Dellin Betances were told they would be starting in the minors. “The Killer B’s” are getting all the talk, especially lefty kid phenom Manny Banuelos. He is 19 and has great stuff but no arm strength yet to go 180+ innings is my understanding. I believe the plan is to get him to 140-160 innings this year in AA & AAA. Oddly David Phelps is a 24 year old that is ready to go as far as innings and had a great year last year in AA & AAA. But writers overlook him as his name does not start with a B I think.

The Yanks season my boil down to can AJ bounce back into a good pitcher or do they need to make a trade for a major starter by the trade deadline.

The bullpen could be spectacular. Mo is still the best, Rafael Soriano should make for a great 8th inning man. Joba looks sharp and his fastball is excellent this year. So he and David Robertson should pair really well with free agent Pedro Feliciano & Boone Logan for the left side.

The line up looks solid, they were the best last year and should remain top 3. No real changes except for catching. Russell Martin will be the starter to start and phenom Jesus Montero is likely to be the backup to start the season with Fransisco Cervelli being out up to 8 weeks with a broken toe. Jorge Posada will give them a 3rd catcher but he is the full-time DH this year. Jorge will turn 40 this year.

Boston is improved but Tampa should be less of a threat. Yanks figure to be chasing Boston. but should be looked as favorites for Wild Card.

Giants: Branndon Belt could be a monster this or next year.

ETA : As last year, the bullpen is impressive.


I’ll play. My new favorite prospect on the Dodgers is Jerry Sands, I know the team likes Travon Robinson better as an outfielder and future solution to the LF problem, but Sands has been killing it so far this Spring. Fortunately Sands plays first base too which means there is a possibility that he could get called up this season if he keeps playing like he is. I don’t think he has a chance of starting the season with the team, but if Loney still has knee trouble as the season starts he might get called up early on. Heck, with the way Loney has been playing I wouldn’t mind them trying trade Loney away and put Sands on 1B. People are saying he is still too raw, but he is playing out of his mind right now and it’s inexcusable that the Dodgers are carrying a first baseman who can’t hit.

I am also very happy with the pitching staff so far, particularly Kershaw, and am annoyed that we don’t seem to have any way to score runs on the team to give the staff any kind of support. I keep missing the games where Rubby De La Rosa is pitching, but from what I am reading he is looking great and could be a very exciting SP in the near future. Our bullpen looks great too if it stays healthy. It’s looking even better if Mattingly doesn’t abuse it the way Torre did.

Sadly, I don’t think that Ivan DeJesus Jr is the future at 2B. Which is a bit of a problem, because I don’t think we have anyone else to step into that spot and Juan Uribe is really only a stop gap. So, that’s a problem. So is Catcher. I don’t even want to get into the insanity that is Left Field.

On the one hand I am really looking forward to the season starting, on the other I don’t know how the Dodgers are going to win games if they can’t score runs, and right now the offense is looking really really poor.

Royals: Hitting prospects are looking impressive. Pitching prospects are not. Alex Gordon is walking like crazy.

The Mets.


It’s funny. In the short space of a couple of years the Phillies have gone from a team with a lot of offense, and very little pitching. To a team with a lot of pitching and lots of questions on offense.

The injuries to Brown and Utley aren’t helping matters.

I’m excited for a full season of Cliff Lee and a second season of Halladay. But, I am worried about the number of runs this lineup is able to produce. Hopefully, Utley’s injury isn’t as bad as it seems. I don’t mind Brown getting pushed back some time. I wish it wasn’t because of an injury, and I hope he can recover. But, I’ve liked Francisco since they got him, and was hoping he’d get a chance to play every day. Obviously, he won’t be as good as Werth, but I think he will be above average and will improve if he is able to play every day. We’ll see what happens with Ibanez.

The Blue Jays could go 64-98, or they could go 98-64. I honestly have no idea.

It’s all about young pitching and the Jays have tons of young pitching. Sometimes the young pitchers explode and wipe out the league, and someone they all get hurt or just suck and you don’t know why.

The team has a pretty dreadful-looking outfield unless Travis Snider finally puts it together.

The Rangers have signed Adrian Beltre to take over for Michael Young. Much hostility ensues. Neftali Feliz might be moving to starting pitcher after winning Rookie of the Year for closing. Otherwise, we’ll see what helps and what hurts.

The Giants have basically stood pat this year, other than replacing the couple guys they lost to free agency. And everyone is OK with that :slight_smile:

I’m pretty sure Belt will wind up in AAA this season unless injuries force him to be called up. Another year in the Minors is only going to help him, and he’ll certainly be among the first call-ups when they expand the rosters so he can get some real big league at-bats there.

NAF1138, as a Yankee fan, I am pretty interested to see how Mattingly does. I hope you, **Silenus **and **Asimovian **keep up a running commentary all year. Its an odd division from what I can see. The Giants are defending World Champs and not too scary outside of pitching.

Assuming that is despair, I’ll give a partial view as I live in the market at least.
Reyes looks good and Bay looks better. Izzy is back and will probably make the team to help the bullpen. That is the good news.

Beltran got hurt going from 2nd to home and is out at least 5 days but many fear more. He is moving to RF if he can play.

Ollie Perez is a disaster of quite frankly Pavano (as a Yank) size. He is useless as a $12m starter and does not know how to warm up in the bullpen.

Castillo does not look very good so far and the fans hate him. Problem is he looks the best of there 2B possibilities.

Catching is still questionable.

Santana will miss two months or more.

What K-Rod will show up this year after last year’s woes?

Ownership is in deep trouble as they are tied up in the Madoff Ponzi scheme and being sued for huge gobs of money. They’ve already borrowed $25M from the MLB. They are trying to find a buying for a minority share of the team but apparently no one wants to be a minority owner to this father and son team.

Agreed on all counts. I said it in 2009 and 2010 - juet make the playoffs, and I’ll give the Giants a great chance in any series. I was actually right last year!


The Braves:

The rotation could be one of the top 3 in the league (along with SF and Philly), or it could implode. Tim Hudson had a year that was deserving of Cy Young consideration (non-Halladay division). Derek Lowe rediscovered his slider in August and was arguably the reason the Braves were able to hold onto the Wild Card. Tomy Hanson has legitimate Ace stuff, and Jair Jurrjens is recovering from injury, while Mike Minor is an impressive lefty rookie.

On the flip side - Hudson is one year removed from TJ surgery, Lowe is going to be 38, Hanson, while healthy so far, has mechanics that can make you cringe, and Jair Jurrjens is recovering from injury, and Mike Minor is (only) an impressive lefty rookie.

The bullpen will miss Billy Wagner, but Craig Kimbrel struck out a ridiculous 17.1 batters/9 last season (in 20 innings, so Small Sample Size Warning), and looked at times completely unhittable. At other times he looked completely unhittable because he was walking everybody. The Braves do have a surplus of lefties - Johnny Venters, Eric O’Fleherty, George Sherrill, to handle the Phillies’ left-handed mashers. Assuming of course, that Venters’ arm doesn’t fall off from overwork.

The offense appears to be better than last year. Brian McCann is a perennial All Star behind the plate, and Jason Heyward had one of the 10-15 best years EVER for a 20 year old. Freddie Freeman (last year’s International League RoY as a 20 year old) should replace Troy Glaus’ decaying corpse and The Artist Formerly Known as Derek Lee at first. Dan Uggla brings his 30 homer power to second base, while Martin Prado gets to take his .800-.875 OPS to left field.

The main question for the offense is whether Chipper Jones can, at 39, return from ACL surgery on his knee and give the Braves decent production at third, and whether Nate McLouth can rediscover the talent that made him an (admittedly the Pirate’s sole representative) All Star in 2008.

I don’t think the Braves will catch the Phils in the NL East, as that rotation compares favorably to the Mid-90’s juggernaut of Maddux-Glavine-Smoltz-Millwood. But the Braves are certainly in a position to contend again for the Wild Card, and if their pitching fulfills its potential, they could be a dangerous team in a short series crapshoot. Much like The Giants were last year (albeit with, imo, a bit better offense, slightly worse pitching staff).

I obviously have much more rabid fandom than insightful commentary to offer, but from the looks of Spring Training thus far (and I’ve watched and/or listened to portions of several games), I have the same sense of dread that NAF1138 does about our offense. I’d probably be less bothered by it if I didn’t get the sense that Kemp and Loney were underachieving. We’ll see who shows up at the plate this year.

Also, I’ll just start my bitching now about the fact that it looks like work is going to keep me away from Opening Night, despite my possession of tickets. I haven’t missed an opening day in quite some time. Grr.

On the other hand I’ll actually be in so cal on the 1st and may get to watch my first live opening day ever. I’m way excited I just need to find someone to go with and tickets. . . Just checked it’s not sold out.

Um…if you aren’t getting here until the 1st, you’re gonna miss Opening Day, my friend. :slight_smile:

Damn, well I’ve got tickets for the Friday game. Not opening day but closer then I’ve ever been before. I’m very excited. I’ve getting baseball fix by catching a couple of live Rockies games a year and only getting the Dodgers televised when they play the Rocks or the occasional Fox game . This will be my first time seeing them live in 8 years.

I may see you there! If not, I’ll wave from my office window in downtown LA, from which I often look longingly at Dodger Stadium.

In Dodger news, Jon Garland left the game after 1.2 innings with some kind of injury to his side. Waiting for more details and hoping it isn’t serious.

I’m getting really annoyed at the increasing number of spring training games being scheduled at night! I can see forcing some of the Florida teams to play an occasional night game because MLB network wants some prime time programming, but next Wednesday there are 3 Arizona games at night.

As a local, half of the fun of spring training is scheduling the day off from work, sitting in the sun, watching baseball and drinking beer when you should be at work.

Started my own spring training.

I’m hitting the cages with a retooled swing this year, having gotten some advice from a real coach. It’s a change, but I like how it’s keeping my hands back, and it feels more like a “real” baseball swing as opposed to a slo-pitch chop.

Being careful about my eating, too. I’d like to get down 10 pounds before our opening day, which is May 3. Should get out and play some catch with my bud Tony soon. The weather’s nice so I’m restarting couch to 5K, which gets me stretching.

Holy shit, the excitement’s building! BASEBALL! Baseball soon! The true sign of spring… baseball! Another season of the finest game ever created. I’m tidying up my work schedule to better accomodate my slo-pitch schedule, and have three Jays game weekends scheduled.

Baseball, baseball, baseballbaseballbaseball BASEBALL!

I’m down in Florida later this month, too. You know what that means. Spring training BASEBALL!

Horrible accident at the Braves spring training: Coach hit in face by ball in dugout

He was unconscious for over 20 minutes and briefly stopped breathing. Brian McCann, the poor schmoe who hit the ball, was so traumatized he had to leave the game. The good news is it sounds like there’s no permanent brain damage.